Internet major Google will soon unveil a tablet co-branded with Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc and priced to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire device, an Asustek executive said on Wednesday.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a version of Google’s Android operating system, retails for $199 (about R11,400) in the US. Users can access Amazon content including books, music and video.
“It’s targeting Amazon. The Kindle is based on Google’s platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too,” said the executive of the device.
Google has its own store for apps called Google Play, but does not have anything like Amazon’s offerings.
Bloomberg has previously reported that Google would launch a tablet at its developer conference this week, taking direct aim at
Apple’s iPad, citing two people familiar with the matter. One of the sources said the 7-inch tablet would showcase new features of Android.
The Asustek executive, who did not want to be named, declined to give details on price, specifications or the launch timetable. Rumours that the search engine giant plans to launch a tablet at its annual conference have been circulating on tech blogs for weeks now.
Expectedly, Google declined to comment.
Apple’s iPad had a 68% share of the tablet PC market in January-March, according to data from IDC. Amazon had a little over 4%, lagging Samsung Electronics and Lenovo.
Microsoft last week introduced its own line of tablet computers as it struggles to re-invent its ageing Windows franchise. If it happens, this would be the first tablet device from Google. Asustek shares gained 2.6% here on the news.